Apples are the kind of fruits that are much beloved by both adults and children. You can find them anywhere, from rich, full orchards to farmer’s markets and hypermarkets. Over 7,000 varieties come in various shapes, sizes, and textures. You can have them be pleasantly sweet or challenging-ly aromatic, fit them in the palm of a child’s hand, or use both hands to hold them while you sink your teeth in.
Regardless of the apple variety you choose, it’s important to remember all types of apples hold the same essential characteristics. So let’s look at how apples became such important and accessible fruits in our lives and how they can improve our mental and physical well-being.
Apples – An Overview
Apple trees are some of the most cultivated tree fruits around the world. However, apples may have originated in the Kazakhstan mountains thousands of years ago.
Apple trees are also easy to cultivate in your backyard. It’s the type of tree you plant this year that yields fruit the next. The trees will grow at least 10-15 feet in height, in the dwarf variety at least, and need to be planted at a distance of at least 8 feet between one another. The crabapple tree makes for an excellent pollinator with most apple tree varieties.
Depending on the variety, apples can grow as small as a cherry tomato or as large as a grapefruit. Their coloring can be green, yellow, pink striped, or full-blown red. They can be mouth-watering sour, or deliciously sweet; they can be turned into juices or jams. They can ornate a fancy dinner plate or be baked into delicious goodies. Some of the most popular apple varieties worldwide are Granny Smith, Red Delicious, and Fuji.
This precise versatility makes apples the most accessible fruits in the world. They’re easy to find, quite the opposite of pricey, and they can fit very well with your day-to-day lifestyle, regardless of what it may be. Another fact about apples is that air is part of their composition, which answers the question: why do apples float in water? But before we go more in-depth regarding this subject, let’s see how eating apples positively impacts the human body.
Apple Health Benefits
You must’ve heard, ‘ An apple a day keeps the doctor away.’ This saying exists with good reason. It’s because apples are some of nature’s super fruits. They are packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals to boost your immune system. Let’s take a closer look at an apple’s nutritional value to establish these health benefits later. Per 100 g of apple, you’ll find the following nutrients and compounds:
Calories – 95
Fat – 0.3g
Sodium – 1.8mg
Carbohydrates – 25g
Fiber – 4.4g
Sugars – 18.9g
Protein – 0.5g
Vitamins B1, B2, B6
Now each of these minerals and vitamins has a part in boosting your health. For example, regularly eating apples can prop up your immune system and prevent certain illnesses.
- Apples are very good natural prebiotics due to the pectin they contain. This is a compound that feeds good bacteria in your gut, thus bringing balance to this environment.
- It’s the same compound claimed to be important in preventing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.
- Apples are also rich sources of antioxidants. This means your body will be better protected against the harmful effects of external factors such as alcohol, smoking, and pollution. This is because antioxidants successfully fight off the free radicals that tend to attack us from these sources, accelerating the body’s natural cellular aging process.
- Antioxidants also come with another much-needed effect on the human body: anti-inflammatory.
- The polyphenols in the apples you eat also play an essential part in preventing heart disease.
If you want to get the best out of your apples, eat them raw, as they are, preferably with their peel still on. It’s perfectly healthy and beneficial for both your physical and mental health. In addition, you should ensure your apples are eco, not sprayed with harmful substances that tend to get absorbed by the outer layer.
Why and How Do Apples Float?
When autumn comes around, and people pull out all their best Halloween tricks and features, did you ever notice how nicely apples float in the water, waiting to be fished out by people? Have you ever asked yourself: why do apples float?
Apples float on water, regardless of the container you place them in. Although it looks incredible, it’s not magic but actual science. Any object that’s less dense than water will float on it.
This is the case with apples as well – apples float because 25% of their volume is made of air. So no matter how hard you may try to sink them, they will rise above and start floating on the water. A fun trick to try not only on Halloween and not only with children.
The pockets of air that are caught between an apple’s cells are the exact reason behind the effect of gassiness apples have on the human body. A less-known fact is that apples cause belching – when eating apples, all that air gets caught up in our digestive system and freed up through burping.
3 Buckets Ideal for Bobbing for Apples:
Picking the Right Apples
As long as you know the specifics of the apple variety you’re aiming for, you’ll also know what color they’ll be when ripe. Some apples remain green throughout their development stages, others stay yellow, and others gradually turn red. If it has bruises, the apple may be too ripe or often dropped to maintain its freshness long enough. The fuller the color of the apple, the richer the aroma. However, you can also pick less intense-colored apples since they can be useful for different purposes around the kitchen, as you’ll soon read below.
Be sure to also check the firmness of the apple – you will want to take it in your hand and feel a relatively firm consistency. If you feel any softer parts, it’s best to avoid getting that specific apple or to intend to use it as soon as you get home. Another sense you can use to detect the perfect apples is your sense of smell. That’s right, pick the apples that are both visually attractive to you and firm to the touch and give them the extra sniffing test. A ripe, healthy apple with its pleasant and rich aroma should embrace you.
How Do You Best Store Your Apples?
Apples won’t be any good to you, regardless of how delicious and nutritious they typically are, if you don’t store them properly and let all their great qualities fade.
- Regardless of the apple variety type, you should know that apples don’t play well with heat, so storing them in a cool place is best.
- If you plan on eating them within 2-3 days from the moment you got them, you can leave them on the counter – they will last this long at room temperature. If your apples are more thick-skinned, they can do well on the countertop for about one week.
- Otherwise, it would be best to put them in the crisper drawer in the refrigerator, where they can last up to an entire month. The only tip to follow with apples is that you don’t stack them on top of each other since, due to their ethylene content, they can all go bad quickly from that one single apple that initially went bad.
- You can freeze your apples by cutting them in halves or smaller slices and placing them inside zip-lock bags in your freezer. They will last for months, and you can easily enjoy them at a later date.
- On the other hand, you can also dry up your apples and turn them into delicious and nutritious snacks that you can eat much later. Just ensure that your drying process is foolproof and that the dried apples don’t retain any unwanted moisture. Once you’ve dried up your apples, store them in air-tight jars or containers, away from excessive moisture or warmth – this way, they’ll maintain their texture and composure as great preserved snacks.
As long as you find the storing method that best suits your needs, your apples will be kept fresh and ready to be consumed by you anytime, anywhere.
How Do You Use Apples?
The popularity of apples comes precisely from their ability to fit in any kitchen scenario. They are versatile, and they can be consumed in lots of different ways, starting with raw and being juiced through being baked into exquisite homemade desserts. So let’s look at how you can best use the apples you have in your pantry:
- Enjoy them raw – This is the most popular way to enjoy apples. They’re light, delicious, healthy, and can be packed into anything. You can nibble on them in the comfort of your home or sink your teeth into them while on the go.
- Sprinkle it on your morning muesli – Shred an apple and add it to your morning breakfast. Mix it with Greek yogurt and any other fruits you may like, and you’ll create a great energy source to last you for hours throughout your day.
- Squeeze them into a juice – Apple juice is one of the healthiest juices. It’s easy to juice your apples at home – you’ll quickly have the kind of drink that’s pleasant to taste and invigorating to your body and mind. What’s more, apple juice also positively impacts your brain health, improving cognitive functions.
- Include them in salads and soups – If you like going the non-traditional route, know that apples pair very well with salads. Create the salad you usually go for, then add a shredded apple or slices – the taste will immediately improve. Having said this, some of the world’s top restaurants will serve dishes adorned with apple bits, so if you’d like to simulate a fancy dinner, apples are the way to go.
- Grill them – When you grill your apples, you open a new sensory door for your taste buds. You can add the grilled apples to your prepared dish, noticing how they make it extra flavorful.
- Bake them into mouth-watering desserts – This is where apples truly shine since they make excellent ingredients in apple desserts of all kinds, starting from jams and cakes and all the way to porridge and custards. These desserts are incredibly healthy and a much better choice than the processed sweets you can buy from the corner shop.
You needn’t worry about trying new recipes. There’s always room to experiment more in the kitchen. And once you find the apple combination that suits your taste buds, you won’t get enough of it. So instead, you’ll introduce it into what can gradually become a healthier diet.
As you can see, apples are the kind of antioxidant fruits we can all do well with. They’re light, nutritious, and can have an immediate and long-term positive impact on our health. You can find them anywhere worldwide and at reasonable prices, most likely. Apart from this, do apples float? In short, yes, they’re so much fun since they will do this regardless of the container in which you’ve placed them.